Police withhold name of inmate who died

An inmate who died at the Cumberland County Jail was a 45-year-old transient who was serving a five-day sentence for drinking in public, the sheriff’s office said Thursday.

Chief Deputy Kevin Joyce said the man was found at 7:20 a.m. Thursday by corrections officers. He had gone to bed at 9 p.m. Wednesday and officers had checked on him every 15 minutes. Each time, the man appeared to be sleeping, Joyce said.

Police withheld the man’s identification until they could notify family members. They were having a hard time finding relatives.

Court upholds conviction in 1983 murder of Fayette woman

Maine’s highest court has upheld the conviction of a former South Portland man who is serving a life sentence for murdering Judith L. Flagg who was 23 when she was stabbed to death in her home on Jan. 6, 1983.

In a 4-1 decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday rejected Thomas Mitchell Jr.’s appeal of his conviction. The crime went unsolved until 2006, when testing of old evidence revealed Mitchell’s DNA.

Mitchell, 53, argued that a lower court judge erred by excluding evidence of another suspect and allowing evidence from the victim’s autopsy. The majority of the court rejected Mitchell’s arguments, but Justice Warren Silver said he would grant a new trial allowing the jury to hear the alternative-suspect evidence.


Resident scares off would-be burglar traveling in silver sedan

A burglar tried to break into a house on Broadturn Road on Thursday, but the resident scared him off.

The woman told police that, just before 11 a.m., a silver sedan pulled into the driveway and the driver honked the horn. A man then got out and knocked on the front door.

The woman said she stayed silent inside until the man tried to force open the door, police said. She yelled and the man drove off.

A similar car was identified in connection with an attempted burglary in Brunswick this week, police say, and that case is related to at least three burglaries in Freeport.

Scarborough police said the silver or light gray sedan is believed to be a Ford Taurus. Anyone who has information is asked to contact Scarborough police at 883-6361.


Driver injured, toddler OK in car crash on Haskell Road

A North Yarmouth man was seriously injured Thursday when his car crashed on Haskell Road at 3:30 p.m.

Robert K. Blackburn, 82, was found unconscious in his 2008 Ford Taurus after it left the road and went 100 yards into a wooded area before hitting a tree.

Blackburn suffered broken bones and cuts, said Lt. Tom Williams of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. His 2-year-old grandson, who was in a child’s safety seat, sustained minor injuries.

Blackburn was listed in serious condition Thursday night at Maine Medical Center in Portland. It appeared that he may have suffered a medical problem that caused him to crash, Williams said.


Draft horses escape serious injury after fall from trailer on highway

Two draft horses that were being taken to a pulling contest at the Northern Maine Fair escaped serious injury when they fell from a moving trailer on Interstate 95.

It was unclear how the horses came out of the trailer around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. They were being hauled by a family from Palermo to the fair in Presque Isle.

Greg Smith of Linneus told the Bangor Daily News that he came upon the horses as one rolled around in the grassy median; the other horse was standing near the highway.

Smith said he had been behind the trailer on the highway, but didn’t see the gate open or the horses fall out. He helped to catch the horses.

Police said the horses had cuts but their injuries were not life-threatening.


Canadian company trimming wind farm planned for Maine

The TransCanada energy company is trimming the size of its proposed 15-turbine wind farm in western Maine.

The Bangor Daily News said the company plans to file a revised plan for the project in Chain of Ponds and Kibby townships in Franklin County. No details of the new plan were announced Wednesday at a meeting of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, which was prepared to deny TransCanada’s 15-turbine plan.

The commission felt the project would mar the scenery in the area.


Collins introduces bill to increase truck weight limits on interstates

Senators in three states have introduced a bill to increase truck weight limits from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds on interstate highways, as long as individual states opt in.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, says the bill would level the playing field in all states. She is being joined by Idaho Republican Mike Crapo and Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl in supporting the Senate version of a bill introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine.

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